Soccer fans react after Mexico scored their first goal against France while watching a televised broadcast of the game today at a restaurant in Huntington Park (AP Photo).
Calm down guys, you haven’t won the World Cup yet:
HUNTINGTON PARK (AP) — Fans celebrating Mexico’s 2-0 win over France in World Cup play spilled into streets Thursday and were ordered to disperse by police wary of a repeat of soccer-related disturbances in the small city of Huntington Park, southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Police declared an unlawful assembly and arrested at least two people for refusing to
disperse, police Sgt. John Navarrette said.
“We had to give that order, the crowd was starting to become quite large, and it was becoming a little bit of a threat,” he said.
Fans waving flags poured onto Pacific Boulevard, which law enforcement had shut down as a precaution during the second half of the game. Officers in riot gear stood guard in case the crowd got unruly.
“We want people to celebrate, we have no problem with it whatsoever,” Navarrette said. “We just want them to do it responsibly and peacefully and not cause property damage.”
Huntington Park, home to a large Latino population, has a history of disturbances
after Mexico’s World Cup play.
In November 2001, unruly fans celebrating Mexico’s victory over Honduras in World Cup
qualifying tossed rocks and bottles and smashed windows after about 1,000 people streamed into the central business district. Officers fired stingballs to disperse the crowd.
In June 1998, throngs filled the streets, and more than 30 people were arrested for vandalism, assault and failure to disperse after Mexico tied Netherlands to advance. Days later, dozens more people were arrested after small groups of fans turned unruly following Mexico’s loss to Germany.
Huntington Park also endured an outbreak of violence and looting in 1994 when the
World Cup was held in nearby Pasadena.